Commander Jake Lewis
Commander Jake Lewis is Chief Intelligence Officer of the USS Polaris. A pragmatist willing to bend the ideals of the Federation in order to protect them, Lewis is no stranger to controversy. In 2389, shortly after the break apart of the Romulan Empire, Commander Lewis was implicated in the assassination of dignitaries from several Romulan factions during a conference on Algorab. While granted a judgement of acquittal due to a lack of evidence, he was forced into retirement. For most of the 2390s, Lewis ran a private intelligence contractor, until, after supporting an investigation that uprooted a conspiracy in the Fourth Fleet, Lewis was welcomed back, with many skeptical onlookers, as part of the Osiris Initiative.
Growing Up Among the Stars
Born on an unnamed planet outside of Federation territory to two archaeologists simply having a fling during their long journey on the Golddigger, a private sector frigate, Jacob “Jake” Daniel Lewis never seemed like the sort of kid who would one day become a decorated Starfleet officer. His father refused to be burdened by a child, splitting immediately for another ship and leaving his mother, Amanda Lewis, to care for him alone. While she loved him deeply, he saw relatively little of her as she and the rest of the SS Golddigger worked overtime to find potential digs, perform excavations and ascertain the worth of items found while moving towards their next potential dig.
Fending mostly for himself on during the long voyages, Jake spent a lot of time just wandering the ship and taking in the sights for himself. By five, he was helping around the ship, fixing small things and running errands for the crew. It made him feel important, and the captain often joked he wished he had more people with Jake’s youthful excitement.
A quick study, Jake could guzzle down immense amounts of material. Amanda and the captain always made sure he was getting an education through schooling material they would secure for him while at supply pickups. Jake thus learned elementary skills, but like with most young boys, what really interested him was starships and action. He learned how to fly the Golddigger and its one shuttlecraft, and he spent time in the engine room learning “where all the pieces go.”
When the Golddigger struck gold, Jake was eight. During a dig on the edge of the Beta Quadrant, the crew found an ancient Vulcan shuttle dating back nearly two thousand years. When they restored the databanks, they realized that the ship belonged to Vulcans who had rejected Surak’s teaching – early Romulans. With this great discovery, they sold the find to a private Vulcan firm and split the profits, or so it seemed.
In truth, realized Jake after reading an interstellar newspaper’s article on the sale, the captain had shortchanged his crew. He urged his mom to protest, since the captain had decided to sell the Golddigger and retire, leaving them without a job, but his mom told him it wasn’t their place. Jake refused to accept that and went to the captain to complain about the discrepancy. He was laughed away.
From Smuggler to Scholarly Success
Cut from her job without reparations, Amanda set out with her son to find work again. They eventually landed a commission on a freelance transport vessel, the Luck of the Irish, which was a smuggler ship in actuality. The crew was far less facilitating than the Golddigger, but somehow the captain came to decide that Jake might be an asset to the crew and thus had them train the young boy. He learned how to fly the ship and its starfighters, how to control the weapon systems, and how to perform maintenance and repairs.
Things went smoothly on the vessel for a while. They would go from place to place, sometimes searched by Starfleet personnel and other times by local militias, but never got in trouble and always delivered their cargo. Over time, Jake realized that they must be doing something illegal, but since his mom seemed not to care, he was content to continue working on the vessel. Because their business involved transportation, most of it was a big lull, so he spent a lot of time studying.
While on the Luck of the Irish, he discovered an interest for battle simulations, which he would frequently play against the ship’s computers; thus, when at age ten they came under heavy fire while running a blockade, Jake wasn’t terrified but rather thrilled. He stood on the bridge watching the captain issue orders as his crew opened fire, took evasive action, and ultimately fled and hid in an asteroid belt after transporting their contraband to the surface.
Several more times over the next few years, he got to enjoy space battles, and morality never seemed a question. He didn’t really think about who their opponents were. That changed though during a mission when he was thirteen. During a supply drop for some rebels on a fairly unevolved world that didn’t even have space travel, they were captured by a Starfleet anti-piracy team. After being given a huge lecture about why it is imperative that cultures be allowed to develop without interference, the Luck of the Irish crew were all locked up.
Reclaiming a Childhood
Jake, now completely parentless, was placed in a foster home on Beta Andronomy, a fairly advanced world where he had access to huge data archives and holosuites. He learned more about the Federation and Starfleet, and discovered the wrongs in what his mother had done; Starfleet’s purpose for obstructing them had been out of virtue, not intrusiveness as he had been led to believe. He studied hard with a new goal: to become a Starfleet officer.
He attended the local high school starting at fourteen. He reclaimed his lost childhood as he forged friendships with students and befriended teachers. His grades were solid, and his teachers often remarked how much they enjoyed his positive attitude and energy. Jake hated the petty cliques and romances of high school, and surrounded himself with a small group of loyal friends, caring little for what everyone else thought of him. He got in a few fights, adamantly refusing to ever back down, but due to the circumstances of his childhood, he was let off with reprimands.
At age seventeen, the minimum age for the Academy, Jake applied. Home schooled for most of his life and with absent parents, he was not an obvious choice. But in his interview, he came across as highly energetic and motivated, and very personable. Between this and his high test scores, he was accepted.
Mistrust and Commendations
At the Academy, Jake was a social magnet of sorts. His confidence and grand stories from his younger days drew people towards him, and he developed some strong and lasting friendships. He performed well in the Academy his first two years, especially in the Tactical and Strategic Operations areas of study, as well as Intelligence, where he had a knack for getting below the surface of the problem. This led him to apply for an internship with Starfleet Intelligence the summer between his second and third year.
At the internship, he worked as a clerk processing reports that came through, and things seemed pretty sedate at first. However, he quickly came to feel there was something wrong. On his time off, Jake would rethink everything he had seen over the course of the day, and he quickly came to the conclusion that things didn’t add up. Too many documents classified at the highest levels were coming from Starfleet vessels and Federation worlds, and entire subjects were missing from the database. A couple months into the job, he exposed a pattern: covert operations within member governments. In a burst of anger, he rushed into the Starfleet Intelligence Director’s office and let loose on the Admiral over his dismay that Starfleet Intelligence wasn’t living by the virtues of the Federation. The Director calmly informed him that it was a necessary part of his job and offered that Jake could resign if he couldn’t handle the truth. Jake did so on the spot, the Director reminding him on the way out about the confidentiality waiver he’d signed.
The incident created a supreme mistrust of Starfleet Intelligence in Jake’s mind, and when he returned for his third year, he shifted his focus away from Intelligence and focused on more hands-on aspects of Tactical and Strategic Operations. He graduated with honors in both fields and picked up a commission as a tactical officer on the USS Schwartzchild, a Nova class science vessel, with the rank of Ensign.
Unexpected Proving Ground
Named for the twentieth century physicist Karl Schwartzchild, the science vessel would have been a disappointing post for most tactical officers as it was small and lightly armed. However, Jake embraced it. With such a small crew and limited armaments, he felt relied on and challenged during the few engagements they had. His performance was exemplary: he was a good tactician and had a mastery of the weapon and shielding systems. Consequently, when the Chief Tactical Officer was reassigned, his Commanding Officer promoted him to Chief Tactical Officer rather than requesting a new Chief.
Overall, the Schwartzchild fought few battles but traveled across vast distances of space and made many discoveries. Jake enjoyed those, becoming a follow-along scientist. He didn’t understand the finer points of temporal chronometrics or inverse subspace parallelism, but he understood the significance of finding a temporally-offset micro-wormhole. He enjoyed the post, even though it didn’t distinguish him as a tactical officer or put him on the fast track to promotion – or at least that’s how it seemed until 2373.
That year, while the Schwartzchild was nearby surveying a nebula, they received a distress call from a nearby Federation colony under attack by raiders. Responding immediately, they found themselves completely outgunned by a large raider attack group. Thinking quickly, Jake realized he could flood the shield array with Omicron particles they had collected from the nebula to make their ship invisible briefly to the enemy’s sensors, and then they proceeded to disable all but the raider capital ship before their supply of particles from the nebula ran out. Engaging the raider’s lead vessel, which had far superior firepower, he recommended a dangerous flight plan which kept them just above the ship’s main firing arc until he could wear a single spot on their shields down enough to transport a single torpedo through, blowing the ship up from the inside out.
Trials and Heroics
For his actions aboard the USS Schwartzchild, Jake was awarded the Starfleet Combat Readiness Medal and a promotion to Lieutenant Junior Grade. Since the Schwartzchild had been badly damaged, and he’d demonstrated his ability to think strategically and take control of a bad situation, he was offered a posting as Chief Strategic Operations Officer on the Excelsior-class USS Grissom. For the young officer, it was a prime posting: the Grissom was a larger, more combat-oriented vessel part of a task force assigned to the front line of the impending conflict with the Dominion.
A year into his new assignment, while on an away mission to a planet near the Klingon border, his team discovered a covert Dominion listening post. Before they could report their findings, they were ambushed by a Jem’Hadar assault team, which quickly overtook them and rigged their vessel to explode. In space above, the Grissom command staff believed they’d witnessed a technical malfunction in the shuttle. They attempted to raise the away team, but to no avail as the team had already been hauled off. From above, it appeared that the entire team was lost. As they prepared to send down another team to assess the damage, a fleet of Dominion ships descended on them, inflicting heavy damage and forcing them to withdraw. The away team was classified as killed in action, something that led Jake to decide he would never leave anyone behind, dead or alive, having been on the wrong side of such a decision.
Soon after their capture and abandonment, Jake and the rest of the away team were transferred to a prison on another outpost for interrogation. Through two months of beatings, food and light deprivation, and other forms of torture, the Dominion attempted to ascertain information about Starfleet’s tactical positioning. At first, Jake and the rest of the away team managed to resist, but over time they were worn down and started providing valuable information to their captors. However, even in his unstable state, Jake managed to ascertain through clever exchanges with his captors that they were at some important outpost within the Alpha Quadrant, information he knew he needed to get back to Starfleet.
Lured into a false sense of security as they felt the resistance of their captives whittle down, one of Jake’s interrogators made a critical misstep. Called away to deal with something on the bridge, he left Jake alone in a room with his PADD for a few moments. It was all he needed. Using techniques he had learned as a smuggler, he broke into their computer system, determining where they were and what the facility was for and sending a narrow-beam transmission with the ascertained information to the nearest Starfleet outpost. He heard nothing further for days, but then about a week later, they were simply beamed out of the facility. He thought the ordeal was over, but in the transporter room, the freed captives found themselves immediately detained by a number of Starfleet personnel wearing no rank or insignia. They were blindfolded and transferred to a brig where they stayed for five days, given nothing except food, water and first aid.
When at last they were let go, they found themselves on Earth at the headquarters of Starfleet Intelligence, where they were ordered to sign confidentiality documents about what they had or hadn’t seen. After that, Jake was awarded a Distinguished Service Cross, although the description of what exactly he had been a part of was kept from him. A small consolation for the trials he had endured and the risks he had taken, he would much rather have had some answers. It was the second time that Starfleet Intelligence had come into Jake’s life, and neither encounter thus far had been positive in any way.
With the Dominion War heating up, plenty of senior combat posting were opening up as ships rolled out of drydock. It was in this context that Jake was swiftly offered a posting as Chief Strategic Officer on the USS Hornet, a ship directly engaged in combat operations against the Dominion. The offer to strike back at his captors was appealing, and thus he accepted immediately, returning to the field only a week after his rescue, shaking off his bad feelings about Starfleet Intelligence, at least for the moment.
The Crucible of War
Over the following year, Jake was essential in combat operations aboard the USS Hornet. They engaged Dominion forces on numerous occasions, and his Commanding Officer routinely gave him high evaluations. In one such encounter during a skirmish with Breen forces, their Executive Officer was killed when a torpedo struck the ship midsection. Jake temporarily stepped into the role and helped bring the situation back under control.
Jake’s truly defining moment aboard the Hornet came in his final battle aboard the vessel. During the Battle of Cardassia, the Hornet took immense casualties as a Jem’Hadar beetle rammed it’s port-side nacelle while she was defending the failing Romulan line. In the following explosions, a large portion of the senior staff and over a hundred crewmen were killed. Lieutenant JG Lewis again stepped in, taking command and bringing the crew together to continue the fight even with bodies scattered across the floor. Willing to do anything to finish the fight, he went so far as to order the medical officers to leave the dead where they fell until after battle, and he had power rerouted to weaponry and shielding from nearly every other system, including life support, shutting off several decks entirely.
As they returned to their wits, even badly damaged and with only a skeleton crew, it quickly became clear that the Romulan line had completely lost cohesion after its flagship had been destroyed early in the battle. Assuming command not only of his own vessel, he started issuing orders to the vessels around him, organizing a cohesive effort along part of the Romulan line long enough for their Federation and Klingon allies to realize what was happening and send support. After disabling several more Jem’Hadar vessels, the Hornet was eventually disabled. As another Jem’Hadar beetle barreled down on the incapacitated vessel, Jake watched helpless, know it was very likely the end. However, just as the beetle prepared to land the final blow, a Romulan fighter rammed the enemy cruiser, a sign of respect for what the crew had done to bring the line back under control. Jake has never forgotten the feeling he felt when that faceless Romulan pilot sacrificed his own life to save the lives of the Starfleet crew on the Hornet.
After the battle, Jake was bestowed the prestigious Valor Cross for his courageous actions and was promoted to Lieutenant. His bravery and strategic sense had put him on a fast track in the fleet, and he received a prime posting as Assistant Chief Strategic Operations Officer aboard Starbase 89.
At first, Starbase 89 seemed everything a young Assistant Chief Strategic Operations Officer could want. He and his team were responsible for coordinating and managing all Starfleet military operations in a tense area of space near the Romulan Neutral Zone. Again and again, he distinguished himself as a solid strategist and tactician, and he was praised highly by those that worked with him.
A year into his assignment, however, things would take a turn for worse when he had a bad run-in with bureaucracy. Several decimated trader vessels had limped to Starbase 89 with heavy casualties, begging for assistance against an unseen attacker just beyond the edge of Federation space in the Neutral Zone. The captain refused to investigate, citing that they would not enter the Neutral Zone and instead would file a diplomatic inquiry with the Romulan Empire, to which they would receive no response. Jake was completely baffled at his Commanding Officer’s inaction, and, after talking to these freighter captains and examining the damage, he realized that they weren’t dealing with Romulans but rather Klingons. The pattern of attacks didn’t conform to Romulan strategy, and he devised a way to prove who it was.
Using techniques he had learned during his early smuggling days, Jake borrowed a runabout from the Starbase and slipped undetected into the Neutral Zone, taking up a position hidden in an asteroid field along a major trade route. Running on low power, reducing even life support to cut back on the ship’s power signature, he let the runabout rest among the asteroid field as he waited and watched. Sure enough, as a freighter passed along the trade route, the attacker struck. Since the freighter was unarmed, the attacker simply bombarded it with a spread of torpedoes and phaser fire from a single vector; seizing the opportunity, Jake powered up the runabout and let loose a burst of torpedoes which impacted against it, momentarily causing its cloak to fail.
It was a Klingon Bird-of-Prey and Jake got a clean read on sensors. In response, the Bird-of-Prey increased its volley against the freighter, destroying it outright, and then it set off after Jake’s runabout. He evaded them using the asteroid field for cover and eventually managed to simulate his own destruction by releasing charged warp plasma, making a quick warp jump to the other side of the belt, and then watching as the disruptors of the Klingon vessel blew up the lingering warp plasma. With his runabout completely powered down and his destruction adequately faked, the Klingons assumed he had been destroyed and dropped back into cloak and left.
Jake returned expecting to be a hero, but instead his CO put him on leave for disobeying orders and Starfleet Intelligence confiscated his recordings. He issued a formal protest, to which he received a call from a high-ranking Admiral who informed him that what he had witnessed was now classified at the highest levels and was never to be spoken of again. It was the third time that he’d had a run-in with the spooks, and his skepticism of them had grown with each encounter. Nonetheless, his immediate concern was his CO, who demoted him back to Lieutenant JG and filed for his immediate transfer. He knew he’d be lucky to receive any posting at all with such a reprimand on his record.
Actions Bear Consequences
The captain of a New Orleans class vessel, the USS Rio, accepted Jake’s transfer as a Strategic Operations Officer on a vessel without a Strategic Operations department. It was the last place one would expect to find a man with a Distinguished Service Cross and a Valor Cross, and Jake had no doubt he’d been moved off of any fast track he might have been on. The captain of the Rio was excited to have a tactician on board, but Jake suspected it was for little more than for fun conversation as the Rio spent its time charting nebulae nestled well within the borders of the Federation. He developed friendships on the Rio but found himself completely unchallenged, spending more time helping out in engineering than actually doing anything related to strategy or tactics.
About nine months after his demotion and reprimand, everything changed. One day, while coming off a shift in Engineering, he was summoned by the Rio’s captain to his ready room. When he arrived, he found a Starfleet Intelligence Commander waiting for him. The man thanked the captain and the captain departed, leaving the two of them alone in the room. Jake was immediately hostile. Each previous encounter with the shadowy branch of Starfleet had been worse than the last. The man sat there and took every heated remark Jake shot at him without a response, calmly waiting the young Lieutenant out. When at last Jake had no more criticisms to level, the Commander dropped a bombshell: Starfleet Intelligence wanted to recruit him. Jake was taken aback, his immediate inclination to shut the man down and leave. However, a more rational side of his mind prevailed, and he decided to hear what the man had to say.
First, the Commander explained that Jake had many of the qualities they look for in operators: he had a decorated record in Tactical and Strategic Operations; he had an ability to think independently and outside the box; and he had a willingness to make decisions he knew to be right, even if they were not popular. The Commander then explained to him what had happened in each of the situations where Jake had previously ran into Starfleet Intelligence: (1) their covert operators were trying to ensure stability against dissident groups within the Federation; (2) he’d been held at a base that Starfleet Intelligence had already compromised and was collecting vast amounts of data from, and they didn’t want Starfleet to attack it and cut off their information source; and (3) they were working with Klingon Intelligence to discretely track down a renegade Bird-of-Prey without their member governments or the Romulans finding out, as it would have had a destabilizing effect over the region. Finally, the Commander offered him an apology for the trouble that they had caused, offered to reinstate his previous rank and pointed out that a man with Distinguished Service and Valor Crosses hardly belonged running a one-man Strategic Operations department on a science vessel.
Jake asked for a day to think it over, and when that day was up, he let the Commander know he was in. His transfer orders arrived within the hour. He was to report immediately to the Starfleet Intelligence Special Operations Bureau headquarters on Earth.
Walking in Shadows
Back on Earth, Jake found himself behind a desk similar to the one he’d held nine years earlier as an intern for Starfleet Intelligence. However, as opposed to the last time, this time there were few doors locked to him. As the Commander explained when he first arrived, all recruits to the Special Operations Bureau began as analysts. The idea was to get them familiar with the way things worked in the Bureau, and Jake quickly came to understand just how different it was. He rapidly adjusted to the paces and provided good analysis of tense situations time and time again. Meanwhile, he was also trained in a whole new set of tactical skills, ones geared specifically for covert operations such as surveillance, espionage, demolitions and more intense combat scenarios. A skilled marksman all the way back to his days in the Academy, he took quickly to these skills; a year later, he was assigned to one of the Bureau’s rapid response teams.
Team 6 had an operating area in lawless regions between the Romulan and Klingon borders, and then out along the Romulan Neutral Zone. On the team, Jake had two roles: as far as strategic operations went, he was chiefly responsible for drawing up mission plans, while as an operator, he was also in the field, his skills most pronounced around surveillance, evasion and extraction. In his role as a field officer, he finally got to put to use many of the things he had learned long ago aboard the Luck of the Irish. The late 2370’s were a tumultuous time, and he participated in a number of key covert operations. While Shinzon’s coup against the Romulan Senate and his subsequent attempted assault failed, it served as a reminder that the Romulan Empire was indeed still very much a threat, and Team 6 began looking at ways to gather intelligence within the closed borders of the Empire. Progress was slow given the Empire’s isolationism.
While the Romulan front remained relatively sealed, Team 6 was also working a set of operations against arms trading. According to intelligence, the Orion Syndicate was holding an arms trade show within Meja’s Nebula. Jake and four of his team members were inserted as arms dealers, intending to use their cover to provide advanced surveillance for a strike against the vessel. However, when they arrived, they quickly discovered a pair of high-value targets that they hadn’t expected: two command-level officers from Starfleet R&D. The presence of such officers indicated something darker than the arms show, and they recognized that they needed to alter the game plan. Unfortunately, when they tried to alert their superiors, they found their communications jammed. Unable to request updated instructions, Jake made a bold decision. He and his team approached the Starfleet officers, blew their cover and alerted them to the impending raid, claiming that they too were officers skimming off the top of Starfleet and that they’d been alerted to the raid by associates also within Starfleet. They explained that they were sick of the Federation always playing by the rules and they helped the traitorous officers escape as the Starfleet task group assaulted the arms show.
In many circles, helping the escape of these two officers would have been frowned down upon, but the Special Operations Bureau saw it differently. They had intelligence that Federation technology was being sold on the black market, and Lieutenant Lewis had successfully established a connection with the ring. Over the next few months, Jake and his team continued the front, up until they had enough intelligence to successfully upend the conspiracy. In a swift takedown, Starfleet Intelligence ended up arresting more than fifteen officers involved in the criminal endeavors.
For his leadership and ingenuity, Jake received a promotion to Executive Officer of the USS Serpent, a vessel operating under the purview of the Special Operations Division. In addition to his ship-bound role, his position also made him the Team Leader for Team 14, the operations unit attached to the Serpent. Team 14 was focused solely on the Romulan Empire. Whereas Team 6 had spent a lot of time involved with combat operations, Team 14’s objectives meant mostly reconnaissance and data collection. Much of their efforts centered on Qualor III, where they flipped several Romulans who were affiliated with the Imperial Navy but who had become disenchanted following Shinzon’s coup. It was through one of these contacts that they were eventually informed of a Romulan Subcommander who’d recently been imprisoned for speaking out about the Empire. While their contacts on Qualor III were relatively cut off from the inner workings of the Empire, they recognized that a Romulan Subcommander would be a very different story if they could extract him. Jake drew up a daring deep cover mission with a stolen Romulan frigate, and they successfully entered Romulan space and extracted the Commander. At first, the man was unwilling to completely turn his back on the Empire, but Jake was able to negotiate with him and eventually he was turned. Starfleet Intelligence could never admit to having him, but he turned out to be a treasure trove.
Returning to the Light
Following a very successful three-year stint as Executive Officer on the Serpent, Lieutenant Lewis was recommended for Starfleet Command Academy by his Commanding Officer. The shift was abrupt. The Command Academy was full of high-achieving idealists who knew very little, if anything, of the world Jake had been entrenched within for the last seven years. Where his peers would all sit around and talk about the endeavors that had brought them to where they were, Jake could share little and was thus a bit of an outsider. Even the circumstances around his Distinguished Service Cross could not be discussed. He was also one of only a few in the Command Academy who had ever been demoted with an official reprimand.
In class and simulations, Jake nonetheless did very well. His instructors noted that he had a great breadth of skills, standing out amongst many of their students who had specialized in one area throughout their career, and that he had outstanding strategic awareness. However, his instructors universally agreed that he had some personality flaws he needed to overcome if he was to be a successful commander: he was hesitant about the separation between crewmen and the ship’s CO, due to an unconventional upbringing within Starfleet, and he often came to conclusions that stood against those generally accepted as the right ones. One of his instructors went so far as to even cite the incident at Starbase 89, to which Jake responded heatedly.
In the end, his accomplishments were recognized over his flaws. He graduated with honors and was offered command of the USS Justice, a ship home to one of Starfleet’s JAG units responsible for criminal investigations within the Starfleet. Jake wasn’t sure if the posting was a gift or a mockery: it might have been because he’d successfully upended a conspiracy within Starfleet, but it could just have easily been the Command Academy trying to straighten out his maverick streak. On the Justice, he was popular with the crew, mostly due to a command style that offered little separation between the ship’s staff and their commander, but he found himself often at odds with the rigid JAG unit. Where his mind would first go to placing surveillance equipment, the JAG would seek out a warrant. Over time, he learned to work with the unit. The JAG unit recognized the law above all else, but they also wanted to convict criminals that didn’t play by their rules, and after two years, the Justice had become a very effective unit between Jake’s unconventional approach and the JAG unit’s avarice.
Given their growing rapport and numerous successful operations, it thus came as quite a surprise when Jake received his transfer orders. Following the supernova that destroyed Romulus, the Empire fragmented and Starfleet Intelligence grew very concerned about the implications. His previous experience with the Empire would certainly be a high commodity, and with no delay, he was ordered to report to the USS Enigma, a Starfleet Intelligence vessel that had just been attached to Task Force 93 for operations within the Romulan Empire. It was an exciting opportunity, a return to a slightly darker world than he’d been a part of the last few years, and so, after quick goodbyes, he parted ways with the USS Justice and her crew.
Brief Return to the Shadows
The USS Enigma was a punctuated moment in Lewis’ career. In July 2387, Lieutenant Commander Lewis arrived at Deep Space 6 and assumed command of the freshly minted vessel with sharp teeth and a crew assembled for a singular purpose. Over the course of the next two years, they collected intelligence on various Romulan factions vying for power in the void. One of their crowning moments was turning a Tal Diann captain who regretted how far his once glorious empire had fallen. In recognition of his accomplishments, Lewis was promoted to Commander in 2388.
The mission of the Enigma would come to an abrupt end in 2389. In an attempt to reduce tensions between the various Romulan factions, Starfleet facilitated a summit on the neutral world of Algorab. Overtly, the Enigma was to provide security for the summit, but covertly, it was to collect intelligence on the inner workings of the various factions. The mission did not go as planned. Caught up in a Tal’Shiar plot to prevent any sort of concessions between rival factions, the crew was implicated in detonating a bomb that killed over dozens of Romulan dignitaries. As they’d been covertly running surveillance on the summit, they had proof that acquitted them. However, they could not share this proof, neither with the Romulans nor with Starfleet more broadly. Spying on the delegates would destabilize the Federation’s image, and they didn’t want to tip their hand to the fact they knew what the Tal’Shiar was up to.
The events on Algorab left a dark mark on Commander Lewis. Starfleet Intelligence quickly reassigned the Enigma to patrol duty within core Federation worlds, hoping that, with enough time, people would just forget what had happened. Unfortunately, Commander Robert Drake, a particularly judicious JAG officer, managed to connect the dots. When Fleet Command wouldn’t hear his complaints, he took them public, igniting enough rage that the Federation Council ordered the creation of an Algorab Commission to investigate the matter.
Commander Lewis was recalled to Earth to sit for the commission. Over the next several months, he sat on his hands and waited, occasionally called before the tribunal where they’d ask him pointed question. Each time, he’d respond with carefully crafted half-truths, and then they’d send him away. Five months later, the commission acquitted him, not on innocence, but on a lack of evidence to prove his guilt.
Lewis remained on Earth for a few months, waiting for an assignment, but none ever came. It soon became clear that no one wanted to touch him. As a joke, he even applied to, and was rejected from, the position of waste reclamation facility administrator on Beta Antares. It was at that time that Lewis resigned his commission, not because he’d lost his desire to care for the Federation, but because he realized he’d never be able to do so again from within Starfleet.
In Service of the Federation’s Greater Principles
Outside of Starfleet, Jake found his skills of great interest to many. He threw in with organizations like the Fenris Rangers before settling on running his own covert outfit, which he named Sebold Logistics, that did non-acknowledged intelligence operations for Starfleet, private parties and others regional powers.
It was during this time that Jake stumbled upon strange evidence of subterfuge, corruption and a complete disregard for the Federation’s founding principles from within the Fleet’s own leadership. Turning his focus inward, Sebold Logistics began an investigation of Starfleet. Once they’d collected enough evidence, Lewis reached out to one of the few people he knew he could still trust within Starfleet leadership: Fleet Admiral Allison Reyes, a former intelligence officer who’d spent the last few years away from the Fleet proper on a mission of exploration beyond Federation space.
Working with Reyes, other retired Admirals, and a mix of current and former members of the intelligence community, this group of vigilantes, along with Commander Drake, the JAG who’d formerly prosecuted him during the Algorab Commission, eventually mounted a case that saw the court martial of a number of Commanding and Flag Officers, including Vice Admiral Yewande Banda and Rear Admiral Stanley Morgan.
After the proceedings that saw the right sort of leaders return to the helm of the Fleet, Jake returned to his previous activities. But this would not be for long. Shortly thereafter, he received a communique, at the behest of Fleet Admiral Allison Reyes, requesting his presence for a briefing on some Starfleet operation called the Osiris Initiative. Reluctant but curious, he chartered passage to Starbase Bravo.